Vegan Brussels Sprouts Salad
Move over mixed greens and kale, there’s a new salad green in town, Brussels sprouts. Ok, I know some of you may be shaking your heads at the thought of Brussels sprouts in general, never mind raw Brussels, but I would encourage you to give this salad a try, because when Brussels sprouts are raw and thinly sliced they resemble a crunchy cabbage salad. I’ve served this salad up to family members of all ages and they’re surprised that they are eating and actually enjoying a salad comprised of Brussels sprouts.
This will be your go-to fall and winter salad when you’re craving something healthy, crisp and crunchy. The lemon vinaigrette adds a bit of tartness, and the toasted almonds sprinkled with sea salt add another crunchy layer that I honestly can’t get enough of. Let’s just say that I’m addicted to this salad!
This is the perfect side salad for any meal, and can serve as a main dish topped with some shredded chicken, turkey or tofu. It’s also the perfect salad to bring to any holiday dinner or potluck, and will be a great addition to a heavy meal, as it’s light and healthy and unique. It’s a great salad to serve your vegan friends, or for those who can’t tolerate dairy or gluten (like me).
The other bonus about this salad, is that it’s a make ahead salad. You can slice the sprouts in advance, make the vinaigrette, and even toast and salt the almonds ahead, so all you have to do come dinner time is toss everything together in a bowl. As Ina Garten would say, “how easy is that?”
This salad even holds up well if you dress it an hour or two ahead of time, so it’s the perfect salad to make in advance of any potluck.
I’m hoping that this salad will turn Brussels sprouts haters into Brussels sprouts lovers, just like my lacinato kale salad did. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Vegan brussels sprouts salad
serves 4 as a side salad, 2 as a dinner
For the Brussels Sprouts Salad:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup raw, unsalted almonds with skins, coarsely chopped – I love almonds, so I sometimes use 1/2 cup
- hefty pinch of fine celtic sea salt, or pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1 lb bag of Brussels sprouts, or roughly 20-22 medium sized Brussels picked from a bin – you can also use a bag of pre-sliced Brussels, but they may not be as crisp or fresh
For the Vinaigrette:
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced – I usually use 3 cloves unless they’re huge
- hefty pinch of coarse, or fine celtic sea salt – I adore this celtic sea salt, as it’s unrefined and chock-full of minerals
- pinch freshly ground pepper – I typically do 4-6 twists with the pepper grinder
- pinch of red pepper flakes to taste
Let’s begin by toasting up the almonds. Coarsely chop the raw almonds. I use a serrated knife, as I find it’s easier to chop them.
Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to a skillet set over medium-heat. Add the chopped almonds and stir frequently until golden brown in spots.
Transfer almonds to a paper towel lined plate to catch the excess oil.
Sprinkle the almonds with a bit of fine sea salt, and toss to coat. Set almonds aside to cool.
It’s time to make the vinaigrette. In a wide mouth canning jar, small bowl or glass, whisk together the following; 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, minced garlic, hefty pinch of sea salt, pinch or few twists of pepper, and a pinch (or more to taste) red pepper flakes.
Let’s prep the Brussels. You will have to shave/thinly slice the Brussels for this recipe, but it’s easy. You can use the slicing disc on a food processor, mandoline, or a sharp knife (that’s what I used).
Rinse Brussels in a colander.
Check out the below video to see how to slice the sprouts for the salad using a knife (you have to click on the play button to see it). Steve and I made this video in 5 minutes, so it’s very homemade, but it’s a start! If you don’t want to watch the video, then I have step by step instructions with photos below the video.
Slice off the stem of the sprout.
Place the trimmed sprout lengthwise on the cutting board. Slice in half through the stem.
Place the cut side down on the cutting board and holding the sprout close to the stem, make thin slices crosswise, repeat with the other half. To be honest, I actually like the slicing the Brussels with a knife, as it’s meditative.
Pull apart sliced sprouts, as they can stick together, and toss them into a salad bowl along with the toasted almonds and mix everything together.
Whisk the vinaigrette and add half the vinaigrette to the Brussels. Toss to coat using your hands, so the vinaigrette gets incorporated into the sprouts. Add more vinaigrette to taste. I usually use 3/4 to all the vinaigrette depending on the size of the Brussels. The amount of vinaigrette you add is totally to taste. You don’t want to overdress the sprouts, but you want to taste the dressing.
This salad can be made a few hours ahead, just put in the fridge until you’re ready to eat it. You can also prepare all the components ahead of time and then toss them together when you’re ready to serve the salad.
Store any leftover salad in the fridge in a sealed container. Leftovers are best next day.